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The Southern Railway

PDF The Southern Railway was the pinnacle of rail service in the South for nearly 100 years. Its roots stretch back to 1827, when the South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Company was founded in Charleston to provide freight transportation and America's first regularly scheduled passenger service. Through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Great Depression, rail lines throughout the South continued to merge, connecting Washington, D.C. to Atlanta and Charleston to Memphis. The Southern Railway was born in 1893 at the height of these mergers. It came to an end in 1982, merging with Norfolk and Western Railway to become Norfolk Southern Railway. The history of the railway lives on, however, and Norfolk Southern continues to "serve the South." In 2003, the Southern Railway Historical Association selected the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History as the repository for their extensive archives. Included in this collection are hundreds of professional quality, black-and-white photographs taken by company photographers throughout the railway's history. These photographs not only capture the transition from steam to diesel and the pinnacle of rail travel, but also the development of the South through much of the 20th century. While a few of these images have been seen by the public, the vast majority have not.

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